Thursday, 18 August 2022

Children’s nursery closed

A NURSERY in Henley has been closed temporarily after concerns were raised about children’s safety,

A NURSERY in Henley has been closed temporarily after concerns were raised about children’s safety,

writes James Burton.

The Mill Meadows Nursery and After-School Club, which is based at the Leichlingen pavilion, off Meadows Road, was ordered to shut by the education watchdog Ofsted and may not re-open until April 20. In a letter to parents displayed on the door of the premises, inspectors said they needed time “to investigate our belief that a child may be exposed to a risk of harm and for any necessary steps to be taken to eliminate or reduce this”.

They added: “We will regularly review the situation and will stop the suspension within this period if we believe children are no longer at risk.”

Ofsted stressed that the investigation didn’t mean the nursery was unfit to provide care or that permission to operate would be revoked. This would only happen if the provider was to be “no longer suitable” to look after youngsters.

A spokeswoman confirmed it had launched an investigation following a complaint but said it would be “inappropriate” to release details.

The nursery is run by Samuel and Aime Ngube, from Harrow, who are Cameroonian nationals and also directors of a firm called Eagle Investment Company.

They took over the nursery in October from Sophie Taylor, who had run it since 2012. It was previously called Stepping Stones but that venture folded in 2011 due to falling attendance and financial problems.

Ofsted inspected the premises under Miss Taylor’s leadership in 2012 and 2015 and rated it “good” on both occasions.

Inspectors said safeguarding was “given a high priority by staff” and daily safety checks were carried out.

Last year they said staff had a “very good relationship” with children and their families and it was a “happy, well-organised nursery where children make good progress in all areas of learning”.

Mr and Mrs Ngube did not respond to requests for comment.

Henley Town Council, which owns the premises and leases them to operator Mill Meadows Childcare, declined to comment.

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